Monday, March 05, 2007

Sunday night movies

I was watching Channel 4's Sunday night movie double bill last night. First there was I, Robot with Will Smith, based on a short story by Isaac Asimov.

I saw this movie in 2004 when it came out and I enjoyed it, but I never really thought about watching it again and I only took the time to catch it on the telly because the robot, Sonny, is voiced by Alan Tudyk (Wash from Firefly and Serenity). In 2004 I didn't even know who Wash was! Imagine. I watched the movie again primarily to listen to Sonny's voice (and all I had to do was close my eyes and I saw Wash) but I got engrossed in the movie and really really enjoyed it. I would watch it again without hesitation. It has a good (although simple) story, good special effects and likable characters portrayed by competent actors. Definitely better than other Asimov adaptations (Bicentennial Man anyone? Shudder). Why is it that Philip K Dick (whose books I find difficult to read) makes such great movies (Bladerunner, Screamers) and Asimov (whose books and stories I love) makes such so-so movies?

Anyway, the second movie was 1995's Johnny Mnemonic with Keanu Reeves.

I remember watching this movie at the time and hating it, but I thought I would give it a go as a nostalgia trip. I couldn't believe how BAD it was! It was only made 11 years ago, but it is so creaky and dated, the quality of the film looks like it is twice as old. Keanu Reeves - a good looking guy with VERY limited acting skills - is SO BAD as the title character that I don't know how he got away with it. His delivery of hackneyed, corny lines is so inappropriate and devoid of modulation that it is hilarious. For anyone who doesn't know the plot, he is a data courier who uses his brain to smuggle downloaded secrets. His normal capacity is 80GB (which doesn't seem all that great) but he doubles his capacity to 160GB. I chuckled my way through the cardboard rubbish of the first ten minutes or so, but then I turned it off because it totally lost my interest.

In conclusion, two very different science fiction movies, with almost ten years between them:- one movie is good, engaging, entertaining and captivating, the other so bad it deserves to be sent into the dark dungeon where stinkers are left to disappear into oblivion.

1 comment:

Valinora Troy said...

Yes, I Robot is enjoyable, though the plot is quite thin. A fan of Iaasc Asimov myself, I've never read any P.K. D.

Hard to believe there were pre-Wash days, isn't it?